Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

On Sunday we left Tangier Island and headed south across the Chesapeake bay for several hours before we reached the Elizabeth river, just Southwest of the mouth of the bay.  Just a few miles down the Elizabeth River is Norfolk and Portsmouth Virginia.  We stopped at Ocean Marine Yacht Center.  We had also stayed here in the spring heading north.  They have great customer service, so we were happy to stay again.

Monday morning we picked up a rental car and drove almost an hour north to Williamsburg to visit their historic town.  This was a great city in Colonial times, Thomas Jefferson among other great leaders, lived here.  The Historic area has been restored to its former time and many homes and shops are open for learning about trades and what it was like during colonial times.  Many people are dressed in the era and perform their trades for a living just as they did back then.  We saw a blacksmith making nails to build a new shop for himself.  The brickyard was stacking 12000 bricks, made over the summer to be fired, they are going to be used to help build the new shop for the blacksmith.  The silversmith was making a bracelet.  The basket weaver, a basket.  We watched her strip down wood till she had a thin strip for weaving.  The cooper was making barrels.  At the farm, they were plowing a field with 2 ox and a hand plow.  Did you know that an ox, is not a special breed of cattle?—it is merely the term for a trained cow or bull.  Never knew that.  The kids loved helping the wool spinner spin string and seeing how wigs were made.

We toured the governors mansion, as Williamsburg was once the capital of Virginia.  Thomas Jefferson was the last Governor to live in the mansion, then the capital was moved.  We also toured the Capital building.  Both were beautiful to see.  As the day drew to a close we decided to stay for dinner and made a reservation at the Kings Arm Tavern, a loyalist spot for dining we were told.  We had a great dinner that included live music played tableside from the colonial times.  They even played a round of Yankee Doodle, and the kids had a great time singing along.

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